Summary of cities:
Jordan (northmost city. part of line of cities defending north country)
Boaz (gets rest of records)
Teancum (by seashore & desolation)
Desolation (dead cast into sea)
Jashon (gets records)
Joshua (west by seashore)
David, Land of
Angola (fortified city, first retreat after Z.)
Zarahemla (war starts)
– 321 AD Moroni gets instructions to go to hill Shim in the Land Antum to get records (Mormon 1:3)
-Moroni “carried by his father into the land southward, even to the land of Zarahemla”. (Mormon 1:7)
-War begins “in the borders of Zarahemla, by the waters of Sidon”. (first battle, also 321 AD) Mormon 1:10
-A number of battles fought, then a truce for four to seven years.
-Lamanites attack again, Nephites retreat “toward the north counties” 2:3
-Moroni’s army take and fortify Angola “with their might”, but “notwithstanding their fortifications”, the city is taken.2:4
-They are “also” driven out of the land David. (unsure if Angola was in the land David or if its the next province to the north) 2:5
-They gather to Joshua which is “west by the seashore”. Mormon 2:6-8 A battle with a force of 40,000 each is fought here… Lamanites retreat.
-345AD. Lamanites attack again, Nephites retreat to city of Jashon, “near the land [Antum] where Ammaron had deposited the records”. Moroni gets just the plates of Nephi, and leaves the remainder “where they are”. (Mormon 2:17)
-Nephites driven “northward to the land which was called Shem”. 2:20 Nephites fortify the city and are attacked in 346AD, but win a battle with 30k to 50k. 2:25
-In 350AD a treaty is made. Lamanites “ give unto us the land northward, yea, even to the narrow passage which led into the land southward. And we did give unto the Lamanites all the land southward.” Mormon 2:29
-For 10 years, Nephites fortify and prepare. In 360AD Mormon causes his “people that they should gather themselves together at the land Desolation, to a city which was in the borders, by the narrow pass which led into the land southward. 6 And there we did place our armies, that we might stop the armies of the Lamanites, that they might not get possession of any of our lands; therefore we did fortify against them with all our force. 7 And it came to pass that in the three hundred and sixty and first year the Lamanites did come down to the city of Desolation to battle against us”. Nephites beat them. They come again the next year. They beat them a third time. “and their dead were cast into the sea.” Mormon 3:8
Desolation is by the sea or a river that flows into sea
-in 363AD, the Nephites go on the offensive, up out of desolation, but are driven back to “the land of Desolation” (not city). Then Lamanites attack, and take the city of desolation “slaying many and taking many prisoners”. Mormon 4:2
-”And the remainder did flee and join the inhabitants of the city Teancum. Now the city Teancum lay in the borders by the seashore; and it was also near the city Desolation.”
Teancum is also somewhat near the sea.
-364AD, Lamanites come against Teancum, and are repulsed, so Nephites follow them and retake Desolation. 4:8
Desolation and Teancum are close to each other
-In 366AD Lamanites attack and take Desolation, and then Teancum (and sacrifice the inhabitants both women and children.) Nephites are so angry about the loss of their families they retake the cities and drive the Lamanites out of the land. Then another 10 year pause in fighting (Mormon 4:16)
-In 375AD, the Lamanites come down to desolation with a numberless host.
The Lamanite attack base is UP from desolation and Teancum. (3:7, 4:17-19 Lamanites come down to desolation. V.1-4 Nephites go up out of desolation to battle Nephites. This makes a northern neck or cerro trinchera location problematic for desolation and the narrow neck. Perhaps likewise for Mazatlan…Nayarit and Amapa seem more likely.)
-Nephites flea to Boaz and fight two battles. On second attack they flea and women and children are sacrificed again. Nephites flea and “all the inhabitants with them, both in towns and villages” (Mormon 4:22)
-”Seeing the Lamanites were about to overthrow the land”, Mormon goes to the hill Shim and takes up ALL the records. Mormon 4:23
Boaz is still relatively close to all the preceding cities? (Antum, Jashon, Desolation). V.10-23 really gives that impression. It’s like they don’t go far from Desolation to Boaz… but once boaz is taken they “overthrow the land” and everyone flees are far way to Jordan. (Jordan could now be the southwest, since this are flees and is burned”.
-in 379AD Nephites flee to Jordan, and repulse a Lamanite attack. 3:4 They maintain a line of stronghold cities “that they could not get into the country which lay before us, to destroy the inhabitants of our land.” (Mormon 5:4)
Jordan is likely in the Southwest, one of a line of cities defending the land northward.
-in 384 AD Mormon sends a letter to Lamanites requesting to gather to the land of Cumorah “in a land of many waters, rivers, and fountains;” People finish gathering in 384 AD (Mormon 6:2,5–6)
-401 to 421 Moroni finishes writing the rest of the book and hides it up.
Some thoughts on dates in the final retreat and battle:
Note that the Jewish Metonic cycle adds seven intercalary years (leap year) every 19 years. So one roughly every 2.7 years. In strangely similar to the prodigious use of 18,19 & 20 in the Mayan Calendar. I suspect the Baha’i calendar may be closer to the way the ancient Mesoamerican and ancient Israelites did it, than the current calender’s.
If this is true… It may be that the Nephites after Christ’s time counted a “prophetic year” (or one of their calendars) as roughly every 2.7 – 3 true sidereal years. Which is a possible explanation for the discrepancy between Carbon dates for cultural collapses and BOM dates. So 321 AD would be coincide with 963ish AD and 380 AD would coincide with 1140ish AD. Making both Anasazi and Cahokia dates work. Probably more likely though, that either C14 dates are skewed or the records the authors were working off of, were wrong or misunderstood.